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 Hydro bills zap wallet

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ivegotfleas1
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PostSubject: Hydro bills zap wallet   Wed 28 Jul 2010, 2:29 pm

LONDON HYDRO: Get ready for a 17% hike next month, and that's just the minimum due to an increase in the cost of electricity and, of course, the HST

London residents are going to get whacked with another jump in their electrical bills Aug. 1, one of the many changes coming their way over the next two years.

The good news: Londoners may be soon able to stop fights about the air conditioner by letting London Hydro -- not mom, dad or the kids -- control the thermostat.

"There is a lot of change coming," Vinay Sharma, chief executive of London Hydro, said Monday.

"We are going to have to hold the hands of our customers."

Sharma, board chair Peter Johnson and communications director Nancy Hutton met Monday afternoon with the editorial board of The Free Press, shortly before the utility's annual general meeting.

Hydro executives painted a picture of an interesting, and at times painful, few years ahead for customers.

The pain will start Sunday, with a hydro bill 17% higher than May's, thanks to a combination of increases in the cost of electricity and distributing it, and the HST.

That's the minimum increase, before air conditioning costs are factored in.

"It will exacerbated by the increase in demand because of the warmer weather," Sharma warned.

The heat waves of this July have energy usage in London at its highest since July 2007, he said.

London Hydro has several new projects under consideration to help consumers reduce demand.

One project is a simple tree planting program, Sharma said.

"There is a significant benefit but it has to be the right place and the right type of tree."

Studies in San Francisco have shown planting trees in the west and south of a house can save 12 to 18% in energy costs, Sharma said.

Though the savings would be less in a colder climate, he pointed out Southern Ontario has become a bigger user of electricity in summer than in winter.

That's one of the reasons London Hydro may start an air-conditioning tuning program.

Sharma envisions a day when customers can sign a contract, perhaps for a financial incentive, to let the utility control the air conditioning in their homes.

"On a hot day you will surrender to us. We will not let people override the setting if they have a deal with us," he said.

That day won't happen until each home has a working smart meter, devices that record time-of-day usage and provide two-way communication between utility and residence.

As of July, 126,000 of a total of about 135,000 London homes had smart meters installed.

London Hydro plans to get the meters going and roll out "time of use pricing" in the spring of 2011, forcing customers to watch what appliances they use and when.

In general, it will cost more to buy electricity during the day than night.

In Toronto, the smart meters and time of use pricing have led to increased bills, Sharma said.

But in London, the utility will get a chance to educate consumers first and roll the program in the spring when energy costs are still relatively lower, Hutton said.

In 2009, conservation projects reduced demand by about 6,000 kW, or enough to keep 2,400 homes humming for a year.

The province is demanding higher targets for conservation and, under the new Green Energy Act, urging utilities to initiate projects.

The utility has about 10 green projects on the go, most of them solar rooftop.

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ivegotfleas1
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PostSubject: Re: Hydro bills zap wallet   Thu 29 Jul 2010, 2:40 pm

Yay, something to do for a few hours on Saturday!!!


Protest over London Hydro rate increase set for Saturday

With London Hydro rates poised to increase by a whopping 17 per cent next month, some irate Londoners are planning to band together and gather for a peaceful protest at the London Hydro offices on Horton Street, Saturday (July 31).

The rate hike, rising by 17 per cent compared to May, is raised the ire of some Londoners who have voiced concerns about the impact on lower-income families and individuals who are already feeling the pinch in these volatile economic times.

Anyone who shares these concerns and wants to have their voices heard in a peaceful yet impacting way, are asked to join the protest at the London Hydro offices, 111 Horton St., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Officials say the increase is spawned by two factors: the cost of electricity London Hydro purchases, and the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) which adds 13 per cent to hydro bills (compared to the previous 5 per cent under the GST).

Also, an additional 2 per cent is derived from London Hydro raising its delivery charges.





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ivegotfleas1
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PostSubject: Re: Hydro bills zap wallet   Fri 30 Jul 2010, 9:49 am

More jolts on way
One-on-one with Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid


Brace yourself, Ontario.

Hikes to monthly electricity bills have just begun, Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid warns.

As anger rises in London and across the province over the double whammy of higher power prices and the HST, Duguid — the McGuinty government’s point man on electricity — answered questions about the Liberals’ decisions in an exclusive Free Press interview.

Questions and answers:

Q In London, power bills are 17% higher than they were in May. Two reasons, the hydro rate increase and the HST. There’s a lot of anger over it and people want to know how you’re justifying this?

The cost of electricity is going up and it will be for some time to come because we’ve had to make necessary investments to ensure we have a stable supply of energy across the province. Seven years ago, we didn’t have enough supply to meet the demand. We were at great risk of blackouts. As a result, we’ve had to make some extensive investments in generation.

At the same time, we’ve also moved away from dirty sources of power, such as coal, to cleaner sources of energy. There are costs to that.

Q There seems to be anger about green power. It seems people would rather choose lower rates for, as you call it, dirty power than clean power and higher rates.

I think the reality is, if we would have kept to the same course as the previous government we would today be at great risk of not having enough power to run our economy or run our homes. That is why we have had to make some very extensive investments in generation.

Q Where are the extensive investments?

We are in the process of retrofitting our nuclear fleet, and we are in the process of building new gas plants. Many of them are up and running now and that’s what’s starting to come on the bills. We are in the process of actioning the Green Energy Act which is bringing in new sources of energy.

Q Can you understand people’s anger, especially with this (power rate hike) coming back-to-back with the HST?

We certainly do and we are doing everything we can as a government to mitigate the increases . . . through ensuring our agencies are performing responsibly, that their requests for increases through the Ontario Energy Board are for all the right reasons.

Q Was there talk that perhaps the increase shouldn’t take place within the same two months as the HST? Or was it something that was overlooked?

In the past, previous governments . . . haven’t had the courage to be honest with Ontarians about the true cost of energy. They have, at times, frozen energy rates at the expense of creating new generation and investing in our energy infrastructure. The cost of that is, we’ve had to play catch-up for seven years.

Q But what about the double whammy of the HST coming on hydro bills?

The HST is offset by tax cuts that have been extensive. The most significant tax cuts in the history of the province have taken place this year to both businesses and people.

Q People are already conserving energy. They’ve been hearing the message for years and, yet, the bills keep going up. Now, they’re beginning to wonder, will they be able to conserve enough to maintain the current prices they pay for electricity?

Our efforts to encourage conservation have resulted in about 1,700 megawatts being saved. We still believe we have a long way to go (toward) changing our culture, (toward) creating a culture of conservation in our province.

Q But it doesn’t seem possible we can mitigate all the increases through conservation.

I think one of the things we are really keen on doing is being straight up and honest with Ontarians. Our conservation efforts will, in all likelihood, not offset those costs entirely but they give families the opportunity to mitigate some of those costs.

Q What sorts of things are you hoping to have in place, and when, to help low-income residents?

We are working on a low-income strategy right now. The Ontario Energy Board is doing some work to provide us with some recommendations. But on top of that in the recent budget we came forward with a property and energy tax credit to provide substantial savings for low-income Ontarians when it comes to energy.


Q When will the low-income strategy be in place?

I don’t have an exact timetable, but my expectation is we should have that sometime in the coming year.

Q If it happens after this winter, there are going to be a lot of people — seniors on fixed income and social assistance — who rely on electrical heat. It’s going to be a tough winter for some of these people.

The energy tax credit is something that will benefit those vulnerable seniors and those in low-income categories. However, we recognize there are other things we need to do to assist the vulnerable, not only in recovering from their energy costs but in how energy policies are administered.

Q Are you hearing concerns (about the rate hikes) all across Ontario?

I think we are very sensitive to, and understand, the challenges to families of increasing energy rates. That challenge would be that much greater to families if they didn’t have energy at all available. We’ve had to make these investments. They’re tough decisions, but over the long haul they will be decisions our generation will be proud to have been able to make.

--- --- ---

THE HIKE

Breakdown of London Hydro’s 17% rate hike:

7.4%: Increase in price of electricity

2%: Increase in charge to distribute it.

7.6%: Application of new HST to the bill.


Wow, just wow.

I love this part...."We are working on a low-income strategy right now". Maybe they should've thought about that BEFORE the increase?

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PostSubject: Re: Hydro bills zap wallet   Fri 30 Jul 2010, 9:53 am

A lot of people will be impacted by those decisions,makes me wonder how low and fixed income people will even beging to be able to pay their bills

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PostSubject: Re: Hydro bills zap wallet   Fri 30 Jul 2010, 10:04 am

Hikes to monthly electricity bills have just begun, Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid warns.

It's nice to hear there are more hikes coming too. :roll:

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PostSubject: Re: Hydro bills zap wallet   Fri 30 Jul 2010, 10:09 am

I wonder the same think too Yorkie. It's ridiculous. People are losing their jobs, their homes, there are no decent paying jobs in the province that will offer over minimum wage, so let's hike up the water, hydro, and gas rates. :roll:
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PostSubject: Re: Hydro bills zap wallet   Fri 30 Jul 2010, 10:12 am

We're already 2 months and a bit behind, this is definitely helping us get caught up. :roll:

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PostSubject: Re: Hydro bills zap wallet   Fri 30 Jul 2010, 10:16 am

ivegotfleas1 wrote:
We're already 2 months and a bit behind, this is definitely helping us get caught up. :roll:

I rarely ever use the central air in the house. If I did, even on low, my hydro bill would be pretty close to $450 per month. This stupid smart meter crap is such a scam. So central air only goes on if the heat and humidity are extremely unbearable (heat wave conditions).
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PostSubject: Re: Hydro bills zap wallet   Fri 30 Jul 2010, 10:17 am

This all hit the states before Canada and we are still in recovery,as for jobs here there aren't any.When the oil went to hell so did a lot of jobs,then we have the immigrants here Legal or Not that are willing to work for 5.00 and hour displacing even more people

I am not sure,but thinking it will be another year minimum before we begin to dig out of the hole

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PostSubject: Re: Hydro bills zap wallet   Fri 30 Jul 2010, 11:19 am

Our bills last summer for hydro were in the $80-90 range. So far this summer it's been $117 and $124. Winter is going to be a nightmare.

Turns out the London Pennysaver is going under October 22nd. I'll bet kijiji had something to do with this.

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PostSubject: Re: Hydro bills zap wallet   Fri 30 Jul 2010, 12:38 pm

Ours got hiked up too.. We switched companies out here.. No choice.. it was supposed to be cheaper...

LMAO.. Ya right

Our average hydro is summer is 120-170 in winter anywhere up to 300 dollars. Christmas time with the lights we jump up. However, my last bill was just over 240 dollars. Ya this was supposed to save us money....


I feel all of your pain.. all of it. My only thing this year. I budgeted lots for hay.. and saved lots.. so I have extra for our bill jumps this year
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PostSubject: Re: Hydro bills zap wallet   Fri 30 Jul 2010, 1:45 pm

Quote :
Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid

Um... anyone else see the irony here?
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PostSubject: Re: Hydro bills zap wallet   Tue 03 Aug 2010, 10:56 am

HoodieCrow wrote:
Quote :
Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid

Um... anyone else see the irony here?

:lol:

Here's a petition to get a look at London Hydros books. I for one would like to see their reasoning.

http://www.petitiononline.com/AntiHike/petition.html

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